Chong-Ming Lim


Conscientious disobedients often face the demand to differentiate themselves from criminals whose law-breaking actions are not undergirded by conscientious convictions. In public and philosophical discourse, conscientious disobedients are often criticised on the basis that their actions render them no different from criminals. I provide a qualified defence of disobedients in this essay. I argue that the differentiation demand can be satisfied even by disobedients who engage in what are typically regarded as radical acts of disobedience. In practical terms, this means that even disobedients who engage in actions such as arson, looting, rioting, vandalism or vigilantism can also successfully differentiate themselves from criminals.